Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Gods Are Broken!
Cover of The Gods Are Broken!
The Gods Are Broken!
The Hidden Legacy of Abraham
Borrow Borrow

The story of Abraham smashing his father's idols might be the most important Jewish story ever told and the key to how Jews define themselves. In a work at once deeply erudite and wonderfully accessible, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin conducts readers through the life and legacy of this powerful story and explains how it has shaped Jewish consciousness.

Offering a radical view of Jewish existence, The Gods Are Broken! views the story of the young Abraham as the "primal trauma" of Jewish history, one critical to the development of a certain Jewish comfort with rebelliousness and one that, happening in every generation, has helped Jews develop a unique identity. Salkin shows how the story continues to reverberate through the ages, even in its connection to the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

Salkin's work—combining biblical texts, archaeology, rabbinic insights, Hasidic texts (some never before translated), philosophy, history, poetry, contemporary Jewish thought, sociology, and popular culture—is nothing less than a journey through two thousand years of Jewish life and intellectual endeavor.

The story of Abraham smashing his father's idols might be the most important Jewish story ever told and the key to how Jews define themselves. In a work at once deeply erudite and wonderfully accessible, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin conducts readers through the life and legacy of this powerful story and explains how it has shaped Jewish consciousness.

Offering a radical view of Jewish existence, The Gods Are Broken! views the story of the young Abraham as the "primal trauma" of Jewish history, one critical to the development of a certain Jewish comfort with rebelliousness and one that, happening in every generation, has helped Jews develop a unique identity. Salkin shows how the story continues to reverberate through the ages, even in its connection to the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

Salkin's work—combining biblical texts, archaeology, rabbinic insights, Hasidic texts (some never before translated), philosophy, history, poetry, contemporary Jewish thought, sociology, and popular culture—is nothing less than a journey through two thousand years of Jewish life and intellectual endeavor.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 11, 2013
    Although it involves biblical characters, the widely known story of Abraham’s smashing the idols in the shop of his father, Terah, is not in the Bible. Nevertheless, according to author Salkin (The Modern Men’s Torah Commentary), it is the forerunner of monotheism, the beginning of Jewish history, and may “be the most important Jewish story ever told.” His book tries to demonstrate the truth of these contentions by examining commentaries on the story by theologians, poets, writers, philosophers, a composer, and an artist. He examines the implications of the story for Christians and Muslims and its relationship to anti-Semitism. Salkin, a Reform rabbi, gave up his congregational pulpit to become director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey office, claiming that this move gives him a new opportunity to fight against bigotry in general and anti-Semitism in particular. He makes impressive claims for the overriding significance of this story, but surely many biblical stories can arguably be considered to be “the most important Jewish story.”

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2013
    A rabbi delivers a thoughtful homily on the iconoclasm of Scripture's proto-Hebrew. The old story is comfortably familiar: Young Abraham destroyed the idols that were his father's stock in trade and became the world's first monotheist. That early episode served as foreshadowing of the subsequent career of the biblical patriarch, yet the Abrahamic back story, a primal tale as integral to Christianity and Islam as it is to Judaism, is not found in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, the tale originated with a rabbinic expository narrative dating from the first century of the Common Era. The shattering of those graven images is a foundational legend essential to the Abrahamic faiths, but particularly for Jews, whose religious job description, as noted by Salkin (Text Messages: A Torah Commentary for Teens, 2012, etc.), entails the smashing of icons. The mission of the Jews, as outsiders, is to act as exemplars. The author sees that, today, the false gods of consumerism and materialism need to be broken, and the vocation of Abraham's co-religionists, "the Other," is still the setting of standards. That may explain, in part at least, anti-Semitism. In passionate prose (that often switches tense, even in mid-sentence), Salkin follows the theme of fire, as a form of punishment, and the theme of shattering, from Creation to the destruction by Moses of the first edition of the Ten Commandments to Kristallnacht and the glass-shattering by the Nazis. Remarkably, and despite all the evidence, the author declares that the Holocaust was not a war against the Jews or Judaism. It was a war, he asserts, against God. His sermon purports to call all the monotheistic faiths to renewed iconoclastic spirit, though it appears most urgently and clearly directed to members of his own faith. An earnest exegesis of a powerful legend of the first Jew, designed for the faithful--not for atheist or pagan readers.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2013
    The story's not in the Bible, but Hebrew-school veterans, Salkin says, virtually all know it. When he was about bar mitzvah age, Abram destroyed his idol-making father's wares because, among other things, grown men shouldn't worship clay figurines. In so doing, he became the first Jew and established the tradition that Jews are idol-smashers. Mining the vast troves of Jewish legendry and midrashim, Salkin expands and deepens knowledge and understanding of the biblical Abram, both before and after God changed his name and promised that his descendants would be the chosen people. He also discusses Moses, when he shattered the first tablets he received from God in a most consequential and very surprising later act of idol smashing. Iconoclasm is essential to being Jewish, Salkin argues, and continuesor should continuetoday against the consumerism and materialism worshipped at the altar of free-market economics. Of course, there are consequences for idol smashing, which is why the Jews have so long been exiles and outsiders, dissidents and protesters. Lively, engaging biblical exegesis for Christians, perhaps, even more than Jews.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    The Jewish Publication Society
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

Device Compatibility Notice

The OverDrive app is required for this format on your current device.

Close

Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Gods Are Broken!
The Gods Are Broken!
The Hidden Legacy of Abraham
Jeffrey K. Salkin
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel